The Province of Quezon is so huge that it has 2 Dioceses and 1 Prelature – the Diocese of Lucena covering the southern part, the Diocese of Gumaca covering the eastern part and the Prelature of Infanta covering the northern part of Quezon and the entire Province of Aurora.
Closest to Manila is the Diocese of Lucena. These are the 7 Churches I can suggest for a Quezon Visita Iglesia. I haven’t covered yet the Prelature of Infanta so I can’t make a list. The Diocese of Gumaca on the other hand is very far and no longer practical for a day trip but if one is headed to Bicolandia, it’s nice to drop by some of the churches along the way especially Gumaca Cathedral which is one of the biggest and oldest churches in the Province of Quezon.
SHRINE OF OUR LADY OF SORROWS (Dolores)
The Diocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Sorrows in Dolores is famous because of the miraculous image of Our Lady of Sorrows. Many people come here to have their prayers and intentions answered. Every Friday of each week, locals would go to the Shrine for “Pangkuan” in honor of Our Lady of Sorrows. Once a year, a celebration is held called the “Viernes De Dolores” where after the Holy Mass, a procession called “Turumba” is done.
OUR LADY OF THE CANDLES CHURCH (Candelaria)
Just along the national highway in downtown Candelaria is the Church of Our Lady of Candles.
ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI CHURCH (Sariaya)
The Church of St. Francis of Assisi popularly known as Sariaya Church was first built in 1599 and replaced by a new church in 1605 and a third church in 1641. The current church was built in 1748. The Church features an old baptistery located at the ground floor of the 4-storey bell tower that also contains old bells, 1922 convent, 3 old altars containing several old images of saints and an 18th century replica of Sto Cristo De Burgos (Spain). The church of St. Francis of Assisi in Sariaya is one of my personal favorite churches.
ST. FERDINAND CATHEDRAL (Lucena)
The seat of the Diocese of Lucena is St. Ferdinand Cathedral located in downtown Lucena was first built in 1882 but was destroyed by a fire. In 1887, the current church was built and continuous renovation has been made since then. Today, St. Ferdinand Cathedral stands as one of Lucena’s major landmarks and a reminder of the local faith in God.
BASILICA OF ST. MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL (Tayabas)
The Minor Basilica of St. Michael the Archangel more popularly known as Tayabas Basilica is a century old church regarded as one of the most beautiful Spanish colonial churches in the Philippines. The church’s aisle also has the longest nave among Spanish-era churches in the country. The church’s design and floor plan is in the shape of a key – thus the Key of Tayabas. Tayabas Basilica is also recognized, among others, as a National Cultural Treasure by the National Historical Institute.
KAMAY NI HESUS HEALING SHRINE (Lucban)
Kamay Ni Hesus is a Pilgrimage site of Healing Priest Fr. Joey Faller. It is Quezon’s most visited landmark and one of the Philippine’s most visited pilgrimage sites. It features a 50-foot image of the Risen Christ at the Via Dolorosa which is on a hill. Going up the hill to touch the image of the Risen Christ may take 2 hours during holy week due to the number of people doing their pilgrimage.
ST. LOUISE DE TOULOUSE CHURCH (Lucban)
St. Louis Bishop of Toulouse Church or popularly known as Lucban Church is the home of Pahiyas Festival dubbed as the most colorful festival in the Philippines. First church was built in 1595 but was destroyed and replaced in 1629. The current structure that stands today was completed in 1738 and was partially damaged in 1945 during the war. The church features a baroque design and a 3-level façade containing statues of saints. The 3-level octagonal bell tower sits on a square base. Lucban Church bears the seal of the National Historical Institute.
I drove my way using Waze when I did Quezon Visita Iglesia. Actually I covered the Dioceses of Lucena and Gumaca during my trip. As to how to get to these churches using public transportation, I do not have the full details but it’s easy to go to Lucena. If coming from Manila, take a bus bound for Lucena get off in in Dolores. The suggested route is: Manila to Dolores to Candelaria to Sariaya to Lucban to Tayabas to Kamay Hi Hesus to Lucban.
HASSLE FREE VISITA IGLESIA
For a hassle free Visita Iglesia this Holy Week, join the Quezon Visita Iglesia of J8 Travel Services organized every Maundy Thursday. For inquiries, email manila@j8travelservices.